Gord Brown, one of the most successful and consistent harness horse drivers in Ontario for several decades, announced today that he will be retiring from driving horses following the November 20 card of racing at Rideau Carleton Raceway.
“I’ve decided it’s time. I’m 55 and it’s a young man’s game,” noted the Cobourg resident. “I wanted to retire while I’m healthy and able to enjoy other things in life. My wife, Joy, and I have done a lot of travelling and I’d like to do more. If possible, I’d like to remain in the industry on some level, it’s been good to me.”
Brown has more than 25 driving titles at three different racetracks, Kawartha Downs, Rideau Carleton and Quinte Raceway, over the years. “I have to thank everyone who contributed in any way to my career, the trainers, owners and caretakers. I’d especially like to thank Mark Winacott, Blake Curran and John MacMillan for their support.
“The only things that bothers me now is that I was not able to have a synthetic whip introduced. I presented the idea and many top drivers agreed, but we couldn’t get it done. It’s far more humane than what we currently use,” noted Gord who is the inventor of the Clear Vision Mud Sheet which is used by several of the top drivers in the sport. It helps the drivers’ vision in rainy and muddy racing conditions.
On November 27 Gord will be the special guest on the Rideau Carleton pre-race show, In The Sulky, and will be picking winners from the paddock throughout the course of the evening. Kawartha Downs will also honour Gord when their 2017 season gets underway.
“It’s bittersweet to retire, but there’s more to life than racing. I’ve been very fortunate to say that at the end of the day I worked at a job I loved.”
Gord’s record to date shows 4,231 trips to the winner’s circle with more than $20 million in purses won. For 16 years he notched 100 or more trips to the winners’ circle with his most prolific year being 2006 with 420 wins. In terms of earnings 2008 was the best for Gord as he recorded just over $2 million in purses.